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Aussie Broadband penalised $213,000 for public safety failures

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Aussie Broadband Limited has paid a $213,120 infringement notice after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found large-scale breaches of rules intended to protect the safety of Australians.

An ACMA investigation found Aussie Broadband failed to provide customer information to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) on more than 30,000 occasions between November 2021 and May 2022.

The IPND is used by Triple Zero to help locate people in an emergency, for the Emergency Alert Service to warn of emergencies like flood or bushfire, and to assist law enforcement activities.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said Aussie Broadband’s failure to upload customer information to the secure database was unacceptable and potentially put its customers’ safety at risk in an emergency.

“While we are not aware anyone was harmed due to the breaches, it is alarming that Aussie Broadband did not have effective processes in place to identify that its customer information was not being provided for over 6 months,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“While the breaches should not have occurred, we are pleased to see Aussie Broadband moved quickly to upload the missing data once it was brought to its attention and has taken steps to comply in future.”

Under the Telecommunications Act and the IPND industry code all telcos are required to upload customer details to the IPND for each service they provide.

The ACMA has also given Aussie Broadband a direction requiring ongoing compliance with the data rules or risk further action, including landing in court where it could face penalties of up to $250,000 per breach.

This is the latest action in the ACMA’s ongoing campaign to improve the accuracy of the IPND and reduce the risk of harm to Australians.

Since 2018, the ACMA has taken action against 30 telcos for non-compliance with the IPND rules, including giving remedial directions and nearly $4 million in penalties.

MR 29/2022

For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or media@acma.gov.au.

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